When people talk about recognition and reward programmes, they normally think they involve sending top performing sales people to a VIP location to rub shoulders with senior management. These types of rewards do have their place, of course. But there is so much more finesse that can be applied which will help to improve the strategic efficacy of the campaign.
First of all, don’t just think in terms of sales. You may want to reward other factors too, such as customer service, profitability, attendance, teamwork, good ideas, the longevity of employment, product knowledge and so on. Especially for employees without direct sales accountability. There are a huge number of ways to assess performance and to measure improvement over time.
More sophisticated campaigns provide a degree of flexibility so that products and services can be added to the campaign at any time, or existing ones promoted with bonus rewards, or the targets reset if current metrics aren’t working.
And remember, the great thing about recognition and reward programmes is that you can visibly highlight performance within the organisation in a way that is not appropriate when it comes to bonuses or salaries. This has obvious benefits. The recipient feels special, important, valued and respected. And hopefully, their peers will feel inspired to improve their performance in future too.
Not everyone is likely to be a top performer. Far better to set a variety of achievable targets that mean everyone stands a chance of winning something, even if it is somewhat smaller in value. A certificate, a presentation, a cake and even an early finish on Friday don’t have great monetary value – but they can have great emotional value to the recipient. Also, don’t just have one annual award – monthly and quarterly awards maintain interest throughout the year.
We mentioned that performance rewards are visible, and this means that you can communicate exceptional performance via newsletters etc. This communication should ideally take place at regular intervals during the scheme; not just when the results are in.
It’s also worth thinking about hierarchies when one is putting a scheme together. For instance, a sales team may consist of sales manager, sales executives and sales support. All play an important role in the sales process.
There are also some laws you need to be aware of. If you give someone a reward, then both you and they are potentially liable for the tax and national insurance on “benefits in kind”. This is particularly problematic when it comes to third-party channel incentive programmes. Also, it is illegal to reward certain things in certain ways. This becomes even more challenging to understand when one considers multi-country participation.
The bottom line is that a forward-thinking company can use these types of programmes to improve the quality of their brand representation amongst employees and distribution channels. Not just people working in sales, but every single person who works for the company is an ambassador for the brand. And in today’s fast-moving digital world, this really must not be ignored.
We have delivered highly successful and sophisticated campaign strategies for a number of blue-chip companies including Esso, BT, IBM, Xerox, Land Rover, Ford Credit and Unipart. If you are interested in discussing ways to use reward and recognition schemes within your company, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.